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eBay in talks to sell its South Korean unit for around $5 billion

eBay in talks to sell its South Korean unit for around $5 billion
eBay in talks to sell its South Korean unit for around $5 billion

The company is also planning to offload its classified advertising business, likely to be worth about $10 billion.

Online marketplace, eBay Inc. has reportedly revealed plans to sell its South Korean unit, which includes the country’s largest online marketplace Gmarket. According to reliable sources, the deal could potentially be worth US$5 billion and the company is looking to sell 100% of its stake in eBay Korea.

Reportedly, there are some large retail firms that can potentially purchase eBay Korea, which include departmental store Shinsegae, Hyundai Department Store Group and Lotte Shopping. Additionally, MBK Partners, a Korean private equity fund firm, is also likely to be a potential buyer.

For the record, Gmarket was purchased by eBay in 2009 for a sum of $1.2 billion and was later merged with South Korean auction company, Auction Co. Following the merger, the two companies were reported to successfully grab hold on 30% of the country’s online shopping mall market and 87% of the consumer-to-consumer market.

Currently, there have been many new competitors stepping foot in S.Korea’s e-commerce space, one of which includes SoftBank-backed firm Coupang.

On a vital note, eBay is also planning to sell its classified advertising business, which is claimed to be worth $10 billion. Blackstone Group, Naspers, TPG, and German publishing firm Axel Springer are some of the potential parties interested in this sale. Apparently, both Axel Springer and Naspers have their own classified businesses.

Whereas eBay also prior owned brands like StubHub and PayPal, but later sold them when their directives started differing from its own. Starboard Value and Elliott Management are the two activist hedge funds that have purchased stakes in the company, and are reportedly trying to sell off its ticketing and classified unit, claim sources.

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Omkar Patwardhan

Omkar Patwardhan started his professional career in the hospitality industry. Having nurtured a deep-sated passion for words however, he found his way into content writing and now pens down articles for and a few other websites, spanning the sectors of business, finance, and technology./